SOS Children's Village Panambí is located in the relatively small town of San Ignacio Guazú, in the Misiones Department of South Paraguay. The country as a whole has experienced rapid economic growth, but the benefits of this are often confined to urban centres.
This has made life very hard for the people of San Ignacio Guazú. Though they are traditionally subsistence farmers, 70% of the population now work in the tertiary sector, often within small family run businesses.
GM hits small-scale farmers
One of the main causes for the decline of small-scale agriculture was the growth in GM crops, which has pushed many off the land. Their new livelihoods are often insecure and this has a clear impact on quality of life. Some even suggest that the crops could be having an even more direct impact on people in the area.
There are particularly high numbers of children born with diseases of the nervous and respiratory systems in the area. Many believe that the widespread use of pesticides on GM soya plantations are the main cause. Children with conditions like these require special care and attention, which only adds further pressure on families that are already struggling.
Poverty causes lasting damage
Insecure incomes and the poverty that this creates, impacts on children's lives in a broad range of ways. Often it means that they have to help out in the family business, rather than attending school and getting an essential education. It also makes it hard for families to access the healthcare that their children need, with over 60% of children having no access at all.
Living in poverty can also place a huge strain on people's emotions and this can affect the way parents treat their children. This is a major driver behind the physical and psychological abuse that 61% of children face, and which will continue to affect them throughout their adult lives.
Our work at SOS Children's Village Panambí
We began our work here in 1993 and this Children's Village has a very special focus. It provides targeted care for children with mental and physical disabilities and looks after them when they can no longer stay with their parents.
Our SOS families provide a loving home for children with disabilities who can no longer live with their parents. They are cared for by an SOS mother, who is trained to deal with their specialist needs and ensure that they have every opportunity to fulfil their potential.
We also have a rehabilitation centre on site that offers children a variety of treatments, such as physiotherapy and speech therapy. The close proximity to the SOS Children's Village San Ignacio also means that the children from both villages can make friends with one another and that those in Panambí have access to extensive medical care.
Finding a vocation
Panambí is also home to an SOS vocational centre, which enables up to 35 students at a time to train to become nurses. We also provide shared accommodation so that people from other parts of Paraguay have a place to stay whilst they undertake this course.
In an region where disabled children benefit from tragically limited support, we offer a lifelife and the chance of a better future to children suffering from physical and mental disabilities. Please help us by sponsoring a child.